How Marquess of Northampton"s fifth marriage came to an earth-shattering end

The mystic Marquess and the minx who wants his millions: How Lord Northampton's fifth marriage came to an earth-shattering end

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UPDATED:

21:31 GMT, 6 July 2012

Caught on tape: The Marquess of Northampton threw Lady Pamela out of his 84-room home after learning of her affair

Caught on tape: The Marquess of Northampton threw Lady Pamela out of his 84-room home after learning of her affair

The first time the Marquess of
Northampton suspected that his wife was having an affair with one of his
closest friends was when she returned home from New York without her
wedding ring.

It was May 2009 and 60-year-old Lady
Pamela Northampton told her husband that the outgoing flight had caused
her fingers to swell and so the offending band had been cut off.

This incident was followed by frequent
trips abroad and the appearance of a Roland Cartier triple-coloured
gold and diamond necklace, one of several pieces of precious jewellery
bought for her by her secret lover.

But the final nail in the coffin of
the couple's 20-year marriage — Lord Northampton's fifth — was
undoubtedly the emergence of secretly-taped phone conversations between
age-defying blonde Lady Pamela and her 87-year-old father, Jim Haworth.

The tapes, which friends say came to
the Eton-educated peer as a 'bolt from the blue', are subject to a legal
injunction and their contents cannot be revealed.

But what can be said
without doubt is that they confirmed the Marquess's worst fears — that
the Marchioness was having an affair with his friend, balding Romanian
Dan Stoicescu, a multi-millionaire scientist and entrepreneur who made
his fortune in the pharmaceutical industry. He was dramatically unveiled
as Lady Pamela's lover in court last week.

The tapes are now at the centre of what looks set to become one of the most expensive divorces in English legal history.

The High Court hearing is scheduled
for January and is set to cost more than 2 million in legal fees as the
estranged couple battle over the cuckolded marquess's 120 m fortune.

Spencer Northampton — one of Britain's
wealthiest aristocrats and affectionately known as 'Spenny' to his
friends — has already offered Accrington-born, half-Italian Lady Pamela a
15 m settlement, including a 4 m home in Pimlico, West London.

Lady Pamela, a toolmaker's daughter who began life in a Lancashire council house, wants 10 m more.

'He has now come to terms with the
fact that Pamela seems to have fallen in love with someone else,' a
close friend of the heartbroken marquess told the Mail this week.

'He realises that can happen in life.
But what he finds really upsetting is that he feels she is trying to get
more money from him than is fair and reasonable.

'As Lady Northampton, she had
everything she ever wanted, never having to get a job, having no
children of her own to look after and a husband who was always faithful
to her.

'He was sure, after 20 years, that Pamela was the one.'

Certainly, with marriages to five
beautiful women under his belt — more of whom later — the marquess,
whose family has resided at Compton Wynyates in Warwickshire since the
12th century, could have been forgiven for hoping that his days of
romantic high drama were a thing of the past.

Acrimonious: Lord Northampton and Lady Pamela Northampton, who split in 2010 after a 20-year marriage, are currently in the midst of a bitter divorce battle

Acrimonious: Lord Northampton and Lady Pamela Northampton, who split in 2010 after a 20-year marriage, are currently in the midst of a bitter divorce battle

He met Pamela Kyprios, as she was then
named, in the late Eighties through their mutual interest in
spiritualism after her second divorce from a wealthy Greek-American
shipping financier.

She had been planning to open a holistic healing
centre when the pair were introduced by friends. He later claimed that
she turned up on his London doorstep demanding to talk to him about her
project and never left.

They married in December 1990 at Stratford-Upon-Avon register office, with the marquess speaking movingly of his love for her.

'She is the centre of my life. I call
her “stregissima” — great white witch,' he said at the time. 'She is a
healer, very good at relaxing me.'

And tucked away in the romantic surroundings of Compton Wynyates for the past two decades, the couple seemed blissfully happy.

While much of Lord Northampton's time
has been spent managing his family estates and charity work, Lady Pamela
has assisted him with interior design as well as devoting herself to
the Dogs Trust, of which she is a former president.

Affair: Lady Northampton's secret lover Dr Dan Stoicescu, a Romanian scientist and entrepreneur

Affair: Lady Northampton's secret lover Dr Dan Stoicescu, a Romanian scientist and entrepreneur

Then came the couple's ill-fated 2006 meeting with Dr Dan Stoicescu at a Freemasonry convention in Cyprus.

At first it seemed that Lord
Northampton, once dubbed 'the Mystic Marquess' for his preoccupation
with spirituality, Freemasonry and alternative religions, had much in
common with the fabulously rich Dr Stoicescu, 60, who describes himself
as a 'transhumanist' with a deep-seated interest in immortality and
anti-ageing therapies.

Described as 'charming' and
'self-effacing', the divorced scientist became only the second person
ever to have his human genome mapped.

The procedure, which can reveal
genetic diseases which could help you take action to delay their
development, cost him 220,000.

He later forked out double that sum to
pay for both the marquess and Lady Pamela to undergo the same process
at a US clinic. In the weeks and months that followed their first
meeting, divorced father-of-one Stoicescu became a firm family friend
and a regular guest at Compton Wynyates. Stoicescu also lavished gifts
upon Lady Pamela — in addition to the Cartier necklace, which came with
matching earrings, he bought her a diamond-encrusted watch.

He has homes in Switzerland, Cyprus,
Finland, the US and Australia, and was equally generous to her
relatives. Her father Jim was presented with a 1,300 bottle of wine
from Harrods and a Rolex watch, and taken to dinner at Claridge's.

Stoicescu's huge fortune was first
built on a business selling cancer-care products, and he even paid for
private treatment for Jim when he had bowel cancer.

He also provided a private jet to fly
Lady Pamela and her father from London to Zurich en route to San Diego,
where they spent Christmas 2010. 'Looking back, Dan seemed to infiltrate
every aspect of their lives,' says the marquess's close friend.

'He even invested a six-figure sum in
one of Spenny's businesses, almost as a way of proving his friendship.
At first Spenny took it at face value, but after a while he decided to
cool the friendship.'

But by 2009, Lady Northampton had
begun working for Stoicescu, telling her husband that she had been made
president of one of his biopharmaceutical companies, Asterion.

This new role meant frequent trips to
the US and lengthy absences from Compton Wynyates, where Spenny was left
alone and increasingly suspicious about his wife's behaviour.

'He began to realise that Stoicescu
wasn't all that he seemed in late 2008,' says the marquess's friend. 'He
came to Spenny's birthday party in Tenerife in 2009 and Spenny was
concerned then at how close Stoicescu was becoming to Pamela.'

Undoubtedly, as his marriage collapsed
around him, Lord Northampton's thoughts must have turned to Lady
Pamela's colourful past.

It is fair to say that her rise to the upper echelons of British society has been nothing short of meteoric.

When the Marchioness was born in 1951,
her parents — Jim, then a toolmaker, and Martina, an Italian dressmaker
— were living in a council house in Accrington, Lancashire. The couple
later ran a B&B called La Gondola in the Kent seaside resort of
Margate.

Wealthy: Lord Northampton has an estimated 120 million fortune, owns two stately homes and is regarded as one of Britain's richest aristocrats

Wealthy: Lord Northampton has an estimated 120 million fortune, owns two stately homes and is regarded as one of Britain's richest aristocrats

Warring: The Marquess, born Spencer Compton, has accused his wife of having an affair with a close friend

Warring: The Marquess, born Spencer Compton, has accused his wife of having an affair with a close friend

Much of Pamela's childhood was spent
in what was then Rhodesia where her father worked for a while in a gold
mine in Bulawayo. Pamela and her younger brothers Nigel and Neil
attended boarding school and she later worked briefly for Sri Lankan
Airlines.

Then, aged 18, she married wealthy
Scottish businessman Gerard Macklin, flying to London just before the
ceremony so she could buy a wedding dress from Harrods.

Her second marriage in December 1983,
to Greek-American shipping financier Emanuel Kyprios, took place in the
lavish St Sophia's Greek Orthodox Cathedral in London's Bayswater.

They set up home in a luxury
2 million flat close to the Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington — a
property that Pamela was allowed to keep when she ended her marriage in
the late Eighties.

Despite Lord Northampton's vast wealth, their 1990 registry office wedding was, by all accounts, a rather more modest affair.

But her new lover's wealth puts even that of the marquess into the shade.

'Dan has charmed her entire family,
her father, her mother, her brothers,' says a source close to Lady
Pamela's family. 'He is fabulously rich, even richer than Lord
Northampton and his money has turned all their heads because Dan is
looking after them.'

In another bizarre twist, it emerged
in court that the damning 'Northamptongate' tapes which exposed Lady
Pamela's affair were made by Suzanne Shipwright, a 62-year-old former
beautician who has lived with Pamela's father Jim for the past 27 years,
since his divorce from her mother, Martina.

Her motive for making the tapes is said to be her own troubled relationship with Lady Pamela.

'She has always blamed Suzanne for the
end of her parents' marriage even though they were already divorced
when she met Jim,' says the source.

Costly divorce: Lord Northampton apparently fears he will have to sell a 6 million portrait of Queen Mary I, painted in 1554 in order to reach a settlement with his estranged wife

Costly divorce: Lord Northampton apparently fears he will have to sell a 6 million portrait of Queen Mary I, painted in 1554 in order to reach a settlement with his estranged wife

'In fact, at the time they met, he had been briefly married to a Lebanese woman.'

Ms Shipwright, who used to run
Suzanne's Hair and Beauty Salon in Staines, Middlesex, is said to have
been 'shocked' at what she heard during the conversations.

Pamela's father, Mr Haworth, who is
hard of hearing, spoke with the speaker-phone turned on at full volume,
enabling Ms Shipwright to record both sides of the conversation from the
modest pebble-dashed bungalow in Addlestone, Surrey, which she still
shares with him.

She then passed the tapes to Lord
Northampton, who threw his wife out of the 84-room family home just days
before their 20th wedding anniversary in 2010.

The marquess's friend added: 'She
swiftly returned with removal vans to take her things and took the
opportunity to get the artworks hanging on the walls photographed for
her solicitors.'

Among them is a 6 million 1554
portrait of Queen Mary I, which Lord Northampton fears he will have to
sell if his estranged wife's demands for more money are backed by the
High Court.

Ironically, the family motto of
five-times-wed Lord Northampton is 'I seek but one', and his union with
Lady Pamela has turned out to be the most acrimonious of all five of his
doomed marriages.

He first sauntered up the aisle aged
21 in 1967 with Henriette Bentinck, the daughter of Baron Adolph
Bentinck, the Dutch ambassador to Paris.

The ceremony, at St Margaret's in
Westminster, was one of the society weddings of the year with the bride
wearing a Dior dress and Princess Alice, the Queen's aunt, among the
guests. The couple had two children, Daniel, now Earl Compton and heir
to the family estates, and Lady Lara.

But the marriage broke down after six years after Henriette's affair with a London businessman.

She married twice more and ran an equestrian estate near Seville in Spain until her death in 2010.

The marquess's second wife was
24-year-old Annette Smallwood, the daughter of a retired oil company
director from Sussex. The couple met in 1972 while Annette was a
secretary at KIDS, a charity for deprived children set up by Lord
Northampton, and married at Chelsea Register Office in 1974.

Happier times: The couple kiss for the cameras during a photo-shoot in 1999. They are currently locked in a divorce battle

Happier times: The couple kiss for the cameras during a photo-shoot in 1999

She divorced the marquess in 1974 on
the grounds of his adultery with Rosie Dawson-Damer, a close friend of
Princess Michael of Kent.

Rosie became wife number three in July
1977, with the marquess telling one newspaper: 'Third time lucky!'.
They had a daughter, Lady Emily, but divorced in 1983 when she was just
two, on the grounds of Lord Northampton's adultery with an unnamed
woman.

The marquess's burgeoning interest in
spiritualism and what he described as 'psychic and esoteric
philosophies' led him to wife number four — married German former
topless model Fritzi Erhardt, or 'Lady Fourthampton' as she became
known.

She left her then-husband, Viscount
Cowdray, and married Spenny in 1985. Their daughter Lady Louisa was born
the same year, but the marriage was over by 1988 and Fritzi moved to
Ibiza, where she still lives.

Despite the financial burden placed on
him by four divorce settlements, Lord Northampton has proved to be
adept at keeping together his vast inheritance.

He owns 18,500 acres of land in Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Surrey and London.

For the past few years, he has opened the doors of another of his homes, Castle Ashby, for wedding parties and conferences.

As well as being in possession of one
of the most valuable collections of artworks in private hands, he is
also the owner of the controversial Sevso Treasure, the world's most
valuable collection of Roman silver which cannot be sold because of
arguments over its provenance.

According to his friend, the marquess
feels his 15m offer to Lady Pamela is more than generous. 'It's worth
750,000 for each year of marriage, tax-free,' says the friend.

'He is devastated at how she has
behaved. They had been married a few weeks short of their 20th wedding
anniversary when this blew up and he had thought she was his life-long
partner.' Lady Pamela, meanwhile, is dividing her time between her
husband's 4 million flat in Pimlico and Stoicescu's various properties.

She is a frequent visitor to his San Diego ranch, which is in a road called Lady's Secret Court.

Her mother is also staying at the property, which is next to a home owned by Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates.

Despite her lover's fabulous wealth,
Lady Pamela is showing no signs of giving up her fight for a bigger
portion of her husband's inheritance.

Yesterday, her solicitors Finers
Stephens Innocent did not respond to calls. Dr Stoicescu has also
declined to comment on the affair.

But, privately, Lady Pamela has
complained to friends that she is being treated like a 'common criminal'
and says her lover's riches are irrelevant because she has no plans to
marry and values her independence.

As for Lord Northampton, friends point
out that he is in extraordinarily good shape for his age — 6ft 4in tall
with not a grey hair in sight.

'He isn't frightened of being alone, but it's certainly not what he would have chosen at 66,' says the source.

But once the end of his tumultuous
marriage to his 'great white witch' is finalised, he might be advised to
embrace life as a bachelor for the forseeable future.